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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walgreens, Express Scripts Holding, Haemonetics, ResMed and Eli Lilly

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 24, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Walgreens (WAG - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Express Scripts Holding Company (ESRX - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Haemonetics Corporation (HAE - Analyst Report)-Free Report), ResMed Inc. (RMD - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Analyst Report)-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Will Walgreens Miss 3Q Earnings?

Walgreens (WAG - Analyst Report)-Free Report) is set to report third-quarter fiscal 2013 results before the opening bell on Tuesday, Jun 25. In the second quarter, this drug retail giant posted a 1.05% positive earnings surprise after two consecutive misses. Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to the announcement.

Factors to Consider this Quarter

As reported earlier, Walgreens’ total sales came in at $18.34 in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Despite sales growth of 3.3% year over year, the quarterly sales trailed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fifth time in a row.

Nonetheless, the company witnessed higher comparable store sales and front-end comparable store sales. Additionally, comparable pharmacy sales improved in the third quarter.

As it crossed the halfway mark of fiscal 2013, things started looking up for Walgreens. Following the reconciliation with Express Scripts Holding Company (ESRX - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Walgreens is sanguine about increasing returns of customers. This is reflected in the higher number of prescriptions filled at the company’s comparable stores in the third quarter.

Walgreens’ timely progress to deliver first-year synergy targets following its Alliance Boots deal in encouraging. Notably, the company’s third-quarter numbers will reflect whether its deal-making spree is paying off.

However, the generic wave in the pharmaceutical industry continues to hurt revenues. The company also faces tough industry conditions and competitive headwinds.
 

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Walgreens will likely beat earnings estimates this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) as well as a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. This is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks Earnings ESP: The Most Accurate Estimate stands at $0.90 while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is also at $0.90. This comes to a difference of 0.00%.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Walgreens carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the Zacks Rank #3 when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of ingredients to post an earnings beat this quarter:  

Haemonetics Corporation (HAE - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Earnings ESP of +2.13% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

ResMed Inc. (RMD - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Earnings ESP of +4.84% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

 

Label Updates for Lilly Drugs

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that the labels for their diabetes drugs, Tradjenta (linagliptin) and Jentadueto (linagliptin plus metformin) will be updated in the US. Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim said that the label updates had been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The label updates will provide information needed to ensure the proper use of these medicines by physicians, pharmacists and patients.

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim said that the Prescribing Information (PI) section of the labels for Tradjenta and Jentadueto will carry additional information regarding the risk of pancreatitis. The Important Limitations of Use sections within the Indications and Usage sections will be updated with the information that both drugs have not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis.

Moreover, this section will state that it is not known whether patients with a history of pancreatitis will be at a higher risk for the development of pancreatitis while using Tradjenta or Jentadueto.

Meanwhile, the Warnings and Precautions section will include information regarding post marketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal pancreatitis, in patients taking linagliptin.

The Patient Counseling Information section will also include information about the potential risk and symptoms of pancreatitis. This section of the label carries instructions asking healthcare providers to inform their patients about the potential risks and benefits associated with the use of Tradjenta or Jentadueto.

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim also said that they will inform physicians prescribing dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and pharmacists about the label update.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
 

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